Friday, December 27, 2019
Blue Shirts Quilt
A while ago, my brother-in-law gave me a bunch of his blue shirts. They were a part of his work uniform with the khaki pants. They sat while I was trying to decide how to make a quilt with just one color of fabric.
Eventually, I got tired of them taking up space, so I cut them up into squares. I cut them into squares that would finish at 10 inches. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 1/2, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 inch squares.
I then just sewed them together so they would become 10 inch squares. It is making literal the joke that quilters just cut up fabric and sew it back up again.
The original plan was to use plaid squares at the bottom to look like a table, and then applique a vase of flowers at the top. The blue shirts would be a background and it would be the shadows created by the seams that would make it look somewhat interesting.
As I started sewing the squares together, I realized that I did not have to cut just squares. I could cut rectangles too. This made it a little more difficult to keep all the different shapes organized, but helped keep it speedy. I did add additional smaller pieces because I liked the look of them.
Sometimes I wished there was a second grader around so I could "test" their skills in counting to ten in different combinations. You have to remember when to add the half inch seam allowance and when not to when you are adding and deciding what shapes to sew and what size shapes you still need to cut.
It was creating interesting patterns because the shirts really weren't all the same color. Since they were actually used shirts, each shirt had different colors. The sun had bleached the shoulders and backs, and inside parts like the yoke and the part that is tucked in the khakis were dark, and the other parts were medium. I left some stains in there too to add character.
I made a full size quilt made of shirts. Right now it is 80" x 80". I gave it to him, unfinished, because I want to add one more row, and I need another shirt in order to do that. I did as much as I could without that row - quilting and all. It's almost become a tradition - me giving unfinished quilts as gifts. It takes away some of the unnecessary pressure.
Once I get the shirt, I can make the final row, quilt it, then bind the whole thing.